Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in
USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?
When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.
Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.
"I highly recommend For Better or Worse. The second in a series, it can be read as a standalone, but I say start with the first because it’s just as good. They’ve got the funny bickering that I love, and even as her stories have a light touch with cute flirty, they delve deep into the characters."
– Harlequin Junkie, Top Pick
"From This Day Forward, To Have and To Hold and For Better or Worse are all enchanting and chock full of all the witty repartee we have come to joyfully anticipate... an absolute delight."
"Really likable and interesting characters. Excellent pace and build. I was just so entertained while reading. Seriously excellent read! I absolutely loved every single second of this. Heather and Josh's story was really perfect to me. 5 stars all the way!"
– About That Story
"I couldn’t get enough of this book. I read it from beginning to end without putting it down. It made me smile so much! It was everything I like in a Contemporary Romance. It was cute, light-hearted, funny and sweet. It made me so excited to read the next book in this series! For Better or Worse is a must read for Contemporary Romance lovers."
– A Novel Glimpse
"For Better or Worse is a love story that is carefree, real and packed with emotion any reader can relate with!!! TRULY FANTASTIC!!"
– Addicted to Romance
"I loved this book and can easily recommend you add it to your #needtoread. I am smiling like a lunatic while writing this and remembering Heather and Josh’s journey. I laughed, cheered, cried, sighed and almost swooned while reading For Better or Worse, and any book that can make me feel this wide spectrum of emotions is a book that qualifies as one of my favorite reads."
– All About Romance
"This book was everything. It was sweet and romantic and funny and entertaining. At moments, it broke my heart and then in the next page I'd be laughing out loud. This book is exactly why I love to read so much. It gave me all the feels and was absolutely perfect."
– Smitten With Reading
"I’ll never get how LL can instantly captivate me from page one, but she continually does. The dance and the lead-up are the best part of her books and FOR BETTER OR WORSE has that in spades. I really honestly couldn’t put it down because the story was so well crafted, and both it and their chemistry pulled at me continuously. She writes characters that feel so real and are just incredibly likable, another thing that LL does well. It was absolutely fantastic and this series is one not to be missed."
– Book Reader Chronicles
"A fun, enjoyable, sexy story that I refused to put down... If you enjoy romance, fun, sexy couples, friendship, family, and laugh out loud moments, then you need to be reading this series."
– The Reading Cafe
Work? On a Saturday? Dare I hope this means you're a professional baker and like to get in early to make delicious sweet buns?"
"Do I look like the type that makes delicious sweet buns?"
"You look like the type that /has/ delicious sweet buns."
Heather made a face. 'You're a pig."
"I'm lashing out, " he said with a grin. "My ego's stinging from the fact that you didn't show any appreciation for how hard I work on all of this." He spread his arms to the side and glanced down at his body.
"Are you seriously telling us that you don't kind of get the appeal of a hot musician?" she asked.
Heather pursed her lips, a picture of Josh's chiseled abs and very nice biceps coming to mind.
"Aha," Brooke crowed. "Busted."
"Okay, he's good-looking, " Heather allowed. "But in that too-many-martinis-fling kind of way, not like a throw-your-heart-at-him kind of way."
It had been a week since she'd banged on his door, and he'd played his music just a little too loud nearly every night since then in hopes she'd come over for a repeat of that kiss. For a short, shut-her-up kind of kiss, it had been surprisingly hot. He wouldn't mind a repeat, followed by something a little more naked than kissing.
"I don't think I have any milk." "Now, now, neighbor, " he said, turning to face her. "You didn't even look." "Fine. If it'll get you to leave..." She stomped into the kitchen to look for milk. "The other night when you were so cranky, I thought for sure you must be a morning person." He followed her into the kitchen and leaned his forearms on her counter as she jerked open the fridge door. "I see now that this irritable thing you have going on is more of a twenty-four/seven thing."
Josh shoved the door open and nudged her inside. "Mom, I brought you something sour," he called out. "The milk was no good?" came a female voice from the other room. "The milk was fine, " Josh told the older lady who entered the living room. "It's 4C here who's a bit curdled."
"She's a wedding planner who's not a night person, and apparently not a morning person, either," Josh said. "She also hates music." "I don't hate music, I hate /you/, " Heather said.
"You're in a better mood tonight," he said, his eyes skimming over her crazy curls and relaxed expression. "Why?" "Believe it or not, I'm not a shrew." "Huh" Heather shoved his shoulder with a little scowl. "I'm Not!" "Does that mean you're going to start making banana bread like Mrs. Calvin?" "Yes, definitely. And coffee cake and sugar cookies and whatever other goodies you might like. All while wearing a frilly, feminine apron." "Dare I hope there's nothing under the apron?" he asked, leaning in slightly. "Right again!" she said, in mock delight. "I just love to bake naked."
"Josh Tanner, are you trying to warn me off right now? Give me fair warning not to fall in love with you because you'll never fall back?" He laughed. "That obvious, huh?" "Definitely. And in case it wasn't clear, I'm confident my poor little heart is withstanding all of your charm just fine." "Glad to hear it, 4C. Because despite all your sass, you are a relationship kind of girl, and I'm not a relationship kind of guy."
Their mouths collided hungrily, and it was like the fourth of July and New Year's Eve all rolled into one. In her mind, her belly, her...other parts.
"Thanks," she said, gesturing to his parents' home. "For including me. I would have...I would have been alone today. And I was pretending that's what I wanted. Bit this is nice. It's better." He smiled. "Nobody wants to be alone, 4C." He walked away, whistling a premature Christmas song, and Heather stared after him. /Nobody wants to be alone/, he'd said. Strange words from a man who she suspected was more /alone/ than any of them.
"Josh. Hear me out. I like you. You like me. We're friends. We're neighbors. But with all due respect, I'm way to smart to fall in love with you." He smiled. "Should I be insulted?' "How about you just be naked instead?"
Heather froze a little in nervousness when he tugged her upward to unsnap the back of her bra, and he stilled. "Want me to stop?" Her eyes closed. "I'm not good at this like you are." Josh pulled back slightly, touching a knuckle to her lip. "Trust me. It's already very, very good because it's you."
The truth of the matter was, she loved him, plain and simple. She loved the annoying neighbor in 4A, who made her laugh and was there for her, and who took her home with him on Thanksgiving so she wouldn't be alone, and who helped her plan a wedding, and not just any wedding, but the wedding of his ex. He was good. He was the best. He was everything.
- He taught her how to live. She taught him how to love.
- An ambitious wedding planner continually butts heads with her laidback musician neighbor, only to learn that there's more to the charming playboy than she realized, and what they thought was hate is actually something much different..
- Thin walls between two neighbors…an even thinner line between love and hate.